Still haven't pulled the trigger on an 802.11n (aka Wireless N) router? You should. It'll provide faster throughput, better range, stronger security, and more features than your clunky old 802.11b or g router.
Normally, a replacement like that would run you upward of $60, but right now Buy.com has the Asus RT-N13U Wireless N Router for just $21.99 shipped. That's after a $20 mail-in rebate (PDF), however, which comes in the form of a prepaid Visa debit card.
Update: As of around noon, EDT, it appears the router is sold out. "Temporarily," according to the product page, so check back later to see if more stock is made available.
Many readers will take issue with that, I'm sure, but I continue to be a firm believer in rebate deals. This one comes straight from Asus, and you can track its status online.
Anyway, the router is notable for a couple of things. First, it doubles as a printer server, effectively turning any USB printer you plug into it into a Wi-Fi printer. That's great for sharing, say, a multifunction printer with everyone in the house.
Second, it can also pull FTP-server duty, meaning you can easily share files with friends, family members, and even yourself while traveling. In a nutshell, any designated folder on your PC gets its own Web address.
Third, if you already have a perfectly good router, the RT-N13U can function as a repeater or an access point. A manual switch on the back of the unit selects the mode you want.
Asus also promises super-easy setup; easy quality-of-service settings (meaning you can allocate more bandwidth to, say, gaming or VoIP); and more.
I haven't found any pro reviews of the RT-N13U, but over at Amazon, it has about a dozen user reviews with an average score of four stars.
Thus, if you don't mind waiting on a rebate, you're getting an absolute steal on an 802.11n router--one that offers a lot more features than most. I think my sole complaint with it is the internal antenna, which can't possibly deliver the same range as, say, the three external antennas on my D-Link. Thoughts?
iPad, schmipad. If you want a
tablet PC that can also double as a netbook, check out Lenovo's IdeaPad S10-3T. It's on sale (in a nicely tricked-out configuration) for $499 shipped with coupon code USPS3E0412, down from $649. So, is the thing any good? You can read my writeup over at Business Hacks.